Title: Home for the Holidays
Warnings: Slash Pairing; Non-Graphic
Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario, so I don't claim to own them.
Timeline: Season 5 but no spoilers
Written For: NFA Secret Santa present for writinginct
Beta Reader: Demona (many thanks!!)
Tim cast a nervous glance at Tony as they sat on the comfortable couch watching the credits start to roll on "White Christmas". He had been internally debating for several weeks how to broach a certain subject with the other man and no way seemed the way to go in his opinion. Their relationship was still too new to the both of them that Tim did not want to push things too far too fast.
He thought it weird that he was actually the more secure one in the relationship until he added up everything he had learned about Tony over the years. How, outside of Jeanne, he had never had a relationship last longer than a month, and rarely even that. How he was always insecure in his position with Gibbs. How he never really let anyone get to know who he was beyond the façade.
Tim sighed as he mulled that over in his mind. Tony DiNozzo was a very strange yet intriguing man. He could annoy the life out of someone and then turn right around and risk his own life to save that person without a thought. He never burdened his friends with his personal problems.
Since their relationship started, Tim had found it increasingly difficult to get Tony to talk about himself. They had finally made it through the "when did you realize you liked guys too" conversation after many failed attempts. Their "first date" was an equal disaster that involved miscommunication and a very awkward kiss that was more lips pressed together than anything else. How they had made it to their current stage of kissing, groping and just, for lack of a better word, cuddling, had Tim just as puzzled as Tony himself did.
Tim was startled when he felt a light touch to his cheek and the low voice Tony used when they were alone filtered through his thoughts.
"Earth to McGee. You back with us lowly earthlings Tim? I was beginning to wonder what it would take to get your attention," Tony said as he waggled his eyebrows.
When Tim didn't answer right away, Tony flicked the power button to the television and turned his full attention to the younger man. "What's bothering you? You've been like this all evening and the one before and before that."
Before he could stop himself, Tim just blurted out the question he had been holding back for too long. "How do you celebrate Christmas Tony?"
Just as Tim had feared, Tony began to withdraw into himself immediately. He pulled back as far as he could on the couch, creating a gaping space between them. "Usually never think about it Probie. We're always on call or have a case, and you know the boss… cases come first."
Tim knew he had hit a nerve when Tony called him Probie. Tony had refrained from calling him that in private for the last several months. He only slipped it in when he was trying to cover up what he didn't want Tim to see.
"We aren't on call this year, Tony. Actually, we have a whole week off."
"What?!" Tony practically shouted. He stood up and started pacing around and rubbing a hand through his hair. "Does Gibbs know this? He's had my ass at the office every year for the Christmas rotation and I don't see him changing that any time soon."
Tim tried to keep the pitying look out of his eyes. He had to remind himself that it wasn't Tony's fault that he didn't realize why Gibbs always had him working at the office on the holidays, even if it was just cold case research. The truth was Tim hadn't really known himself until Abby had enlightened him a few weeks ago.
Both Gibbs and Abby had picked up on their relationship relatively quick. Gibbs had somehow given his quiet approval much to the shock of both men, while Abby had been a bit more vocal in her enthusiasm. One week after their unofficial coming out, Abby had pulled Tim into Gibbs' conference room in order to set him straight on a few things concerning Tony. The one she was the most adamant about was making sure that Tony knew how Tim felt about him and that he was wanted and loved. Evidently, Tony never clued in that people around him cared for him as much, if not more, than he cared for them.
She informed Tim that she had already informed Gibbs that Tony was taking a Christmas vacation with Tim. She didn't really care where, just as long as he took Tony someplace and, in Abby's words, "Show him the true meaning of Christmas." When he asked why and also what Tony usually did for Christmas, her face took on a dark look.
"Let's just say the bad starts with his father and the good ends with Gibbs making sure he's never alone at Christmas, even if it means they both have to work. I don't even want to think how he coped at all the police departments."
Tim had been shocked to learn that Tony had never had a true family Christmas. His family had the society Christmases when he was growing up, but those didn't equal the warmth of a small family home, kids tearing into presents, adults sharing stories of their misspent youth and just simple family connections. Tony had never experienced it. The closest he had come, according to Abby, was working with Gibbs and then getting invited over for drinks and to help with the current boat at the end of the day.
Tim sighed and focused on getting Tony to agree to his idea. "Gibbs approved it for all of us, even him. I think Abby's been trying to talk him into going to New Orleans for a Cajun Christmas. She must have succeeded."
"Oh," Tony said with such disappointment that Tim felt he had just kicked a puppy. "Well, I guess it'll be me, the dvd player and all the Christmas movies I can find. Wanna join me for the festive fun?" Tony asked with false cheer.
"Um, actually I'm going to my parents' for most of the week we have off. Sara'll be there and Mom, Dad; I think both Grandmas McGee and Lewis are going to be in and possibly some of my cousins. It'll be the first year all of us have been able to get together in several years at the same time."
Tony stopped moving and looked down at Tim with a false smile and glistening eyes. "Sounds like a blast, Probie. Guess I'll see you around then, cause I think I'm going to go pass out for the night. Need to get in early and finish that report for Gibbs. The boss'll hit my head into next week if I don't have done soon."
Tony stopped his talking and turned to walk to his room. Tim sat in shock at the other man's response until his mind caught up with him enough to realize he never told Tony his plan. Tony thought he was being left in DC alone for Christmas. Abby was going to kill him if he didn't get things smoothed over and fast.
He practically jumped off the couch and made it over to grab Tony's shoulder before he got all the way into the bedroom. "Tony."
Tony just shrugged his hand off and turned around. "I'm really tired Probie. I'll talk to you tomorrow at the office."
"Tony, I didn't mean that I didn't want to spend time here with you over Christmas."
"I understand that McGee. You have a family who wants you with them for the holidays."
"It's not just me they want there Tony. They want… I want you there too," Tim took a breath to prepare himself for the emotional turmoil he was about to deal with. "I want you to come to my parents with me. You've already met Sara, but I want you to meet the rest of the family."
Tony was standing stone still and his face was the classic deer in the headlights look. "You want me to go to your family Christmas get together? As-- As us," and Tony waved his hands between the two to imply their relationship, "or just inviting a friend with nowhere else to go? I don't want to be a charity case Tim."
Tim rubbed a hand over his face. "You're not a charity case Tony. I want to spend Christmas with you and if we have to stay here to do it, that's fine by me."
Tony sucked in a sharp breath. "Really?"
Tim sometimes wondered how Gibbs and Abby were able to tolerate Tony's clueless nature when it came to how they felt about him. "Look Tony, you don't have to worry about pretending we're just friends. Sara already knows about you and my parents know that I like guys and you won't be the first boyfriend I've brought home."
Tim paused when he realized he had just called Tony his boyfriend out loud for the first time. A smile grew on his face as he babbled, "Boyfriend. I like the sounds of that."
Tony's face finally adopted one of his rare and very real smiles as all that Tim had told him started to sink in. "Yeah, I like the sounds of it too," Tony said and Tim knew without a doubt that Tony was referring to more than just the boyfriend part. "Hey, I think the Family Channel is showing one of those Christmas specials tonight; 'A Boyfriend Christmas,' starring Kelli Williams and Patrick Muldoon. Want to try it out?"
Tim smiled as Tony closed the gap between them and wrapped an arm around his shoulder to pull him close. "Sounds like a great idea, Tony. But I do think I need to warn you about my Mom; she kind of has a crush on Agent Tommy," Tim said in a rush.
"So, like mother like son is it?" Tony teasingly asked as he leaned in and gave Tim a peck on the lips. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."
To Be Concluded...